Mayor Ron Nirenberg (left) and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff will kick off CityFest 2020 with Robert Rivard, editor and publisher of the San Antonio Report. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

Monday’s schedule for San Antonio CityFest 2020 spotlights local crisis leadership, city management during a pandemic, the future of the business sector, and the explorations of a famed conquistador.

The third annual San Antonio CityFest, a virtual urban ideas festival, runs through Friday. Its weeklong lineup of events, panel discussions, and entertainment features an array of topics including public health, business and job growth, transportation and development, and recovery from the economic and health crisis of the coronavirus pandemic.

All CityFest 2020 programming will be free and open to the public, with pre-registration required. Once attendees are registered they will receive an email giving them access to the festival web app. Registered attendees are also invited to download the Whova app for more opportunities to network and take the festival anywhere they go.

8:55 a.m.

The first CityFest event will begin with an introduction from San Antonio Report Editor and Publisher Robert Rivard, followed by a conversation on crisis leadership with Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. 

11 a.m.

San Antonio Report Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick will moderate the “Managing Texas Cities During a Pandemic” panel discussion. Dimmick will be joined virtually by city managers from San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, El Paso, and San Jose, California, for a discussion on the unique challenges of managing a city through a pandemic and historic civil unrest.

1 p.m.

Smart Job Growth in San Antonio: Geographic and Demographic Trends” conversation, moderated by columnist Rick Casey, will examine the future of the business sector following the economic downturn of the pandemic. James Russell, a geographer and demographer from Washington, D.C., and Texas state demographer Lloyd Potter will join Casey to discuss balancing job growth with challenges facing the city’s working poor.

2:30 p.m.

Performance artist Marisela Barrera is scheduled to perform. Barrera specializes in writing short stories, profiles, and nonfiction essays and bringing them to life with her performances.

3 p.m.

San Antonio Report Arts and Culture Reporter Nicholas Frank and podcaster Brandon Seale will round out Monday’s programming with “Cabeza de Vaca: Historical Lessons on Resiliency.” They will discuss Seale’s recently completed third season of A New History of Old Texas podcast featuring 16th-century explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

The full schedule is available here.


Samantha Ruvalcaba, who grew up in San Antonio, is a Shiner intern and junior at St. Mary's University studying international and global studies with a minor in communications.